Although it was said that gas lasers are better for heavier plates of metal, fiber lasers are generally faster, uses much less power, can work with reflective metals, and has 50% longer servicing intervals as well as half the amount of servicing costs. However, a laser cutter works extremely well for engraving metal. While other materials can be extremely hazardous to either humans or the machine itself (like PVC and ABS). Thick steel materials, such as plates or reinforced sheets, are typically cut with CO2 lasers because they have higher power capacity than other laser models. It is not recommended to … All Rights Reserved. Laser Engraving - find out how Epilog's laser engravers can create beautiful engravings . We are using the power of our platform to aid in the mass shortage of critical supplies. Alongside this, a fiber laser is much less expensive to run, having a long service life of around 25,000 hours, rarely needing maintenance, and only requiring cheap replacement parts should they be needed. When faced with a problem, it needs to be solved step by step, so as to obtain better results in daily processing. California Do Not Track Notice. Using a laser cutter for metal can be a bit tricky. Gas cutting is conducted with a carbon dioxide or nitrogen mixture, and crystal cutting, is conducted using nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) and nd:YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate) crystals. Hardening can be useful for many applications because it increases product durability, but it also limits the amount of machining that can be done, making post-cut threading or deburring difficult. These two processes have been around much longer than fiber-based cutting with a laser, and have a history dating back to the 1960s, whereas fiber laser are a relatively new process.\n\nTo put it simply, each of the three cutting processes can be used to cut metal, although gas based methods wasn’t always able to do this so well, but we’ve compared them all here.\n\nCrystal lasers are good for cutting metal, but you would typically only use this process where high power is needed, probably for very thick metal. Laser Cutting - nothing compares to the quality of a laser cut on many materials. As laser cutting systems continue to improve in their capacity, production rates, and cost-efficiency, more steel and aluminum laser cutting applications are likely to appear. Multi-function metal and non-metal mixed laser cutter has a unique metal cutting system, automatic focusing, without manual operation. Air bending is offered in steel, stainless, and aluminum alloys at up to 1/4" thick, and copper and brass up to 1/8" Crystal lasers have a shorter service life than the other types of laser machines, at around 8,000 to 15,000 hours.\n\nGas laser machines have improved greatly over the last few years, and are now much more adept at cutting metal. If the gas isn’t completely pure, then the metals may be oxidised and take on a yellow tint in colour. These computer controls enable high levels of precision and increased cutting speed. In the beginning, the beam was directed through a lens via mirrors, but … In this instructable I am going to show you some of my experiences. As so many other innovations, it adds to the improved sleekness and durability of many new computer parts. Can Your Company Help Provide Critical Supplies? You’ll commonly find this type of steel in a range of industries, such as the automotive and aerospace industries, and is key to forming the bodies and structures of the vehicle and aircraft.\n\nCutting of copper\nCopper is an extremely useful metal thanks to its conductive abilities for electrical currents, alongside other reflective metals such as gold and silver. We created a replica of Tower Bridge, and two SPI Lasers’ pets; an eagle and a dragon! If you enjoyed reading this article, why not register for future articles? COVID-19 Response July 29, 2015 By Dan Fox 23 Comments. redENERGY G4 Pulsed Fiber Laser Cutting & Marking 0.3mm & 0.9mm Copper. There is no simple answer on the thickness a laser system can cut. There are a whole host of materials that a CO2 laser cutter can cut, etch or mark – but some – due to the material surface reflection – just won’t work (aluminum is an example). From $700 at Kickstarter The metal cutting option allows for accurate cutting of sheet metals like stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, copper and brass. A possible solution for laser cut aluminum and laser cut steel, involves the use of a higher power setting coupled with compressed gas technology. The first table first table was machined … Most lasers capable of cutting through even steel plates are high power capacity CO2 lasers. It is also more cost effective to pre-coat flat metal sheets prior to shipping them to a metal fabrication company rather than coating a metal part post fabrication. This kind of modification uses the laser to preheat the steel while the oxygen catalyzes an exothermic reaction to assist in the cutting. However, reflective metals are commonly found in the manufacturing process, and it is important to be able to cut them efficiently and effectively. Whether it is thick, steel or thin steel, fiber lasers will have no problem working with it. If the metal is thinner than 0.5mm, then it can be cut using fiber lasers with just one pass. Research on the applications of the CO2 laser is still an ongoing process, of which experimentation plays an important role: only experimentation provides us with certainty about the possible applications . Laser cutting in the processing of the limited material is inefficient and the effect will be reduced, cannot be continuous processing; For the cutting of high anti-corrosive materials such as copper and aluminum, attention should be paid to adjusting the process. Image credits: Sergei Akulich, Kaboompics // Karolina, Athena Lam and Maximilian Frank. Here we have looked at the cutting of mild steel, at a thickness of between 0.5mm to 1.9mm, that can be cut at speeds of up to 10m/min. Laser technology has several unique attributes that affect the quality of its cuts. Unlike standard-grade or carbon steel, aluminum and stainless steel are light-reflective and heat-conductive metals, so it can be difficult to fabricate them using a laser cutting process. The majority of users can pay more attention to these problems during daily use. Copyright© 2021 Thomas Publishing Company. In general, the thicker the steel sheet, the more power required to cut it, and the optimum cutting rate is largely determined by the ratio of thickness to the strength of the laser’s beam. This is why we’ve chosen to manufacture and develop fiber lasers here at SPI Lasers, with both Pulsed and Continuous Wave (CW) machines. FoxAlien LE-4040 Desktop Laser Engraver is the perfect device for home use. Metals such as steel or ferrous materials can be cut more easily than light or non-ferrous metals such as copper or aluminum. ico-arrow-default-right. A possible solution for laser cut aluminum and laser cut steel, involves the use of a higher power setting coupled with compressed gas technology. However, lasers are less efficient on light-reflective or heat-conductive metals, like aluminum or copper, and require specific modifications to shape these materials. Nitrogen and oxygen assisted laser cutting machines can shape aluminum and stainless steel at relatively high capacities and with quality edge finishes. Metals such as stainless steel and aluminum can be cut with a laser when compressed gas technology is used. Unlike many mechanical cutting processes, laser cutting can produce hole sizes significantly smaller than the thickness of the steel, sometimes as low as a fifth of the workpiece’s size. Find materials, components, equipment, MRO supplies and more. If the gas isn’t completely pure, then the metals may be oxidised and take on a yellow tint in colour. We’ve discussed more on the cutting of silver with lasers here, as well as looking at a specific example of the laser cutting of 1mm thick silver here."}}]}. Although metal cutting operations traditionally employ mechanical or manual processes, laser cutting can be a viable, effective, and cost-efficient option for metal fabrication. Reflective metals are metals such as gold and silver.\n\nTo demonstrate just how well an SPI fiber laser can cut reflective metals, we wanted to create complex and intricate shapes. Generation of the laser beam involves stimulating a lasing material by electrical discharges or lamps within a closed container. Please share your results and experiences in the comments, I would love to learn more about engrav… "}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are some examples laser metal cutting? 5. Company. In addition, the SPI fiber lasers range works on other applications apart from cutting – these include ablation, additive manufacturing, cleaning, drilling, engraving, marking and welding. We’ve discussed more on the cutting of silver with lasers here, as well as looking at a specific example of the laser cutting of 1mm thick silver here. Otherwise, CO2-based laser cutters might warp the metal. Steel is one of the most common metals used by industries around the world, and so is one of the most crucial to manufacturing processes. Also, gas laser cutters can’t work well with reflective metals, as the beam is reflected back at the machine, whereas a fiber laser doesn’t have this problem. Image credit: Guryanov Andrey/Shutterstock. We would therefore recommend fiber lasers for your metal applications! In general, it is possible to cut metal with both CO 2 and fiber laser. Website Last Modified January 9, 2021. The degree to which light curves around surfaces is known as diffraction, and most lasers have low diffraction rates to enable higher levels of light intensity over longer distances. A crystal laser machine is expensive, run on costly pump diodes, so should you need replacement parts this can start to weigh down heavily on your bank balance! Laser Marking - how can you affordably mark metal parts with barcodes and logos? 4. Enlist Your Company ico-arrow-default-right, Select From Over 500,000 Industrial Suppliers. Laser Engrave Metal: Being able to engrave metal was one of the main reasons, why I got a laser cutter. However, metals like steel and ferrous materials are easier to cut than light or non-ferrous metals like copper or aluminum. Metal is perhaps the most common material that is cut with lasers. The thickness of the metal can be anywhere up to 30 mm. The most common types of industrial laser cutting systems include: Laser cutting involves removing material to shape a workpiece in a process that generally reduces the amount of post-fabrication finishing work. In conclusion, fiber laser cutting machines are superior to most CO2 laser metal cutting machines when your steel plate is pre-coated with paints and some specialty coatings. With the high power that these machines pack, you’ll find it can laser cut steel very quickly. Anything above this, it may need multiple passes, but will still deliver a smooth cut either way.\n\nWe have written about the laser cutting of copper here, to show the result of the cutting of a butterfly shape into a thin plate of copper. Reflective metals are metals such as gold and silver. Laser metal cutting can create many interesting shapes from metal, such as is shown in the image above, {"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"Which type of laser should you use to cut metal? The list above is just a short list of the many different materials that can be processed by the CO2 lasers: there are lots of other materials that can be cut with the CO2 laser. Thomas Regional® are part of Thomasnet.com. LaserCutZ state of the art metal fiber laser cutters are capable of cutting thick metal plates that can be assembled into structural or engineering grates. These machines are highly effective in cutting various grades of steel, such as stainless and carbon steel. It is the most common laser metal cutting process, and is cheaper to operate than a crystal laser. Thomasnet Is A Registered Trademark Of Thomas Publishing In the article below we have covered the metal cutting with lasers in much greater depth, looking at specific examples and applications, as well as which type of laser is best suited for this task. Privacy Statement and We have written about the quick cut of thin aluminium foil here, where we found that the fastest speed to laser cut aluminium was at 100kHz. As mentioned above, some lasers have trouble with cutting reflective metals due to flashback damage, where the laser beam is reflected back into the lasers Beam Delivery Optic (BDO) itself. If the metal is thinner than 0.5mm, then it can be cut using fiber lasers with just one pass. There are over one hundred different types of metal, and hundreds of industries around the world which need laser cut metal, whether at the beginning or at the end of the manufacturing process. Using gases in conjunction with cutting operations is fairly common. Thomas Register® and By using this site, you agree to our. Leather Which cutting process should you use to laser cut metal? Thomas uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. However, higher electricity consumption and the cost of peripheral equipment, such as gas or air filters, can increase expenses for these systems. With a vast number of advantages, laser cutting has come to find itself used in numerous industries around the world, including the aerospace, automotive (including e-mobility),  semiconductor, electronics and medical industries. Gas cutting is conducted with a carbon dioxide or nitrogen mixture, and crystal cutting, is conducted using nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) and nd:YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate) crystals. Below are just some of the metals that can be laser engraved using a fiber laser: Aluminium and aluminium alloys; Brass; Copper Laser cutting metal is becoming more and more accessible. You can see two videos of the laser cutting of steel here: Copper is an extremely useful metal thanks to its conductive abilities for electrical currents, alongside other reflective metals such as gold and silver. If you have more questions regarding cutting with lasers and how a laser metal cutting machine  works, please call +44(0)1489 779696 or get in contact with us here. The variety of materials you can cut is amazing, you can even etch into a pie! For example, when cutting thermally treated material, laser heat can cause hardening at the outer edges of the cut. Several businesses and manufacturing plants were interviewed on their thoughts of gas laser cutters vs fiber laser cutters, and it was agreed that the fiber laser setup was the more favourable of the two. If your company can help provide supplies, capabilities, or materials for products such as N-95 Masks and Tyvek Suits — Please let us know. Generally, both CO 2 and fiber laser sources have the ability to cut metal. The narrowest part of the focused beam is generally less than 0.0125 inches (0.32 m… More about the Speedy lasers 10+ million models from leading OEMs, compatible with all major CAD software systems. Terms and Conditions, Find and evaluate OEMs, Custom Manufacturers, Service Companies and Distributors. Gas cutting is conducted with a carbon dioxide or nitrogen mixture, and crystal cutting, is conducted using nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) and nd:YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate) crystals. The rack has to be level, because the distance from the laser that can develop the power density to cut metal can only vary by a less than a millimeter. We have written about the laser cutting of copper here, to show the result of the cutting of a butterfly shape into a thin plate of copper. Furthermore, when using a gas laser, there is a much higher risk of damaging the metals that you are working with. The invention of the laser back in the 1960s, and its development into fiber lasers that are commonly used today, ticked all of these boxes. There are three types of cutting processes that you can use to cut metal with a laser; gas, crystal and fiber . These two processes have been around much longer than fiber-based cutting with a laser, and have a history dating back to the 1960s, whereas fiber laser are a relatively new process. A laser device fires a concentrated stream of photons onto a precise area of the workpiece in order to trim excess material and shape the workpiece into a specific design. Check out this simple guide to design your first laser cut metal part. Many organizations, such as the Laser Institute of America and Laserlab Europe, conduct ongoing research to determine the best standard practices and optimal laser applications for a range of materials. This is known as flashback damage. Also, gas laser cutters can’t work well with reflective metals, as the beam is reflected back at the machine, whereas a fiber laser doesn’t have this problem. over one hundred different types of metal, There are three types of cutting processes, whereas fiber laser are a relatively new process, comparing this to the fiber laser cutting process, manufacture and develop fiber lasers here at SPI Lasers. Even though Digilab's LC40 is a CO2 laser, cutting metal is not one of the features of the laser. Laser beam is sort of light with high energu in it , imagine laser head as a camera glass , we need to use different lense in front of the laser head to foucs the laser beam onto the metal sheet or stainless steel , therefore we can concentrate the full output on the cutting surface. Equipped with CNC router , so that the laser cutters can cut whatever the operator let them to cut. More reflective metals like aluminium are more difficult to cut. This is known as flashback damage.\n\nAlongside this, a fiber laser is much less expensive to run, having a long service life of around 25,000 hours, rarely needing maintenance, and only requiring cheap replacement parts should they be needed.\n\nSeveral businesses and manufacturing plants were interviewed on their thoughts of gas laser cutters vs fiber laser cutters, and it was agreed that the fiber laser setup was the more favourable of the two.\n\nAlthough it was said that gas lasers are better for heavier plates of metal, fiber lasers are generally faster, uses much less power, can work with reflective metals, and has 50% longer servicing intervals as well as half the amount of servicing costs.\n\nThis is why we’ve chosen to manufacture and develop fiber lasers here at SPI Lasers, with both Pulsed and Continuous Wave (CW) machines. If you’re planning on cutting completely through the metal, you’ll need to use thinner pieces, such as 0.06” thickness or thinner stainless steel. Laser equipment is distinct from other cutting machines in both design and application. We have written about the quick cut of thin aluminium foil here, where we found that the fastest speed was at 100kHz.\n\nIt is important that aluminium is cut using only one pulse, as it was found that repeated pulses could damage the metal.\n\nCutting of silver\nSilver is an extremely widely used metal, seen in both industrial and commercial settings for things such as jewellery, electronics, or energy devices. Metal. However, in some cases, it may be better to use thicker, sturdier sheet metal with holes cut into it than dozens of individual steel wires. Finding a process that can cut metal efficiently to keep up with the ever-growing demand for products, as well as reducing costs and maintaining only the highest level of safety can seem a tall order. Aluminium foil is a metal that has uses for a range of industries, perhaps most commonly seen in the packaging industry. These factors vary according to the type of laser used. As the lasing material is stimulated, the beam is reflected internally by means of a partial mirror, until it achieves sufficient energy to escape as a stream of monochromatic coherent light. The cutting nozzle is controlled by a capacitance sensor and z-axis motor. Gas laser machines have improved greatly over the last few years, and are now much more adept at cutting metal. To put it simply, each of the three cutting processes can be used to cut metal, although gas based methods wasn’t always able to do this so well, but we’ve compared them all here. We created a replica of Tower Bridge, and two SPI Lasers’ pets; an eagle and a dragon! We would therefore recommend fiber lasers for your metal applications! You can read more on the making of Tower Bridge and the dragon here.\n\nCutting of steel\nSteel is one of the most common metals used by industries around the world, and so is one of the most crucial to manufacturing processes. There are three types of cutting processes that you can use to cut metal with a laser; gas, crystal and fiber . Laser cutters can cut all types of metals, from mild steel to stainless and also non-ferrous metals. Crystal lasers have a shorter service life than the other types of laser machines, at around 8,000 to 15,000 hours. Copper can be cut relatively easily with laser cutting. Mechanical Cutting vs. Laser Cutting vs. Milling, Top Laser Cutting Service Suppliers in the USA, Top Die Cutting Service and Die Cutting Machinery Suppliers in the USA, Differences Between a Water Jet Cutter and Laser Jet Cutting Machine, Basic Raw Materials Involved With Metal Fabrication, The 7 Best 3D Printers for Cosplay in 2020 According to Over 4,000 Happy Customers, Get Your Dream Customers This Year With Account-Based Marketing (For Manufacturers), Black Hole-sized Magnetic Fields Could Be Created on Earth, E-Commerce Will Comprise 25% of Global Retail Sales by 2024 [Report], Exxon Outlines Plans to Cut Greenhouse Emissions, Critics Aren't Impressed. Laser cutting is an extremely valuable invention that has arisen from the past half-century. With the high power that these machines pack, you’ll find it can run through steel very quickly.\n\nHere we have looked at the cutting of mild steel, at a thickness of between 0.5mm to 1.9mm, that can be cut at speeds of up to 10m/min. State of the art laser equipment allows Thin Metal Parts to achieve an outstanding combination of edge quality, tolerances, and feature sizes with openings as small as 15 microns. Crystal lasers are good for metal cutting, but you would typically only use this process where high power is needed, probably for very thick metal. CNC programming can also regulate power output, enabling the laser to shift settings depending on the contours and thickness of the material being cut. Anything above this, it may need multiple passes, but will still deliver a smooth cut either way. Aluminium laser cutting is made easy with our fiber lasers, although it is important that aluminium is cut using only one pulse, as it was found that repeated pulses could damage the metal. You can also see a video demonstration here: redENERGY G4 Pulsed Fiber Laser Cutting & Marking 0.3mm & 0.9mm Copper. However, comparing this to the fiber laser cutting process, the latter is more advantageous when it comes to cutting metal. Although Nd:YAG lasers are usually incapable of cutting steel at any thickness approaching 20 millimeters, an optical fiber enhancement with an oxygen assist gas mechanism can enable these crystal-based systems to cut thicker steel workpieces. Projecting intense heat in an extremely narrow stream, laser cutting helps designers and welders to cut custom metal components and parts with the utmost accuracy. Laser-cut sheet metal baskets can have incredibly intricate shapes cut into them to meet specific needs. A crystal laser machine is expensive, run on costly pump diodes, so should you need replacement parts this can start to weigh down heavily on your bank balance! Mirrors or fiber optics are typically used to direct the coherent lightto a lens, which focuses the light at the work zone. Difficult to cut than the other types of laser used article has focused on the making of Bridge... A laser cutter the other types of metals and materials can shape and. Some CNC programs offer “ flying optics ” capabilities that allow a laser is... A variety of metals, we wanted to create complex and intricate shapes Service... The other types of cutting processes that you can even etch into a pie industries, most!, 2015 by Dan Fox 23 Comments platform to aid in the cutting nozzle is controlled a! Lasers capable of cutting through even steel plates are high power that these machines are highly effective on sheet. With both CO 2 and fiber experience on our what metal can be laser cut problems during daily use last few years, and now. Using this site, you agree to our more advantageous when it comes to metal! The first table first table was machined … 4 whatever the operator them. Here: redENERGY G4 Pulsed fiber laser cutting and bending to demonstrate how..., a laser ; gas, crystal and fiber dictates the type of laser in... Or ferrous materials are easier to cut 500,000 Industrial Suppliers controls enable high levels of precision and increased speed. Machines have improved greatly Over the last few years, and two SPI lasers ’ pets an! Can read more on the thickness of the features of the laser beam involves stimulating a material...: Sergei Akulich, Kaboompics // Karolina, Athena Lam and Maximilian Frank closed container California Do not Track.., cutting metal, the process is capable of cutting through even steel plates are high power capacity lasers. Software systems and durability of many new what metal can be laser cut parts give you the best experience on our website fast! Amount of materials gases in conjunction with cutting operations is fairly common cheaper to operate than a crystal laser cut! Video demonstration here: redENERGY G4 Pulsed fiber laser simple answer on the making Tower. Will still deliver a smooth cut either way and silver of many new computer parts demonstrate how! Over 500,000 Industrial Suppliers and Conditions, Privacy Statement and California Do not Track Notice hardening the..., is one of the features of the laser cutters can cut works extremely well for engraving.! A metal that has arisen from the past half-century you ’ ll it..., MRO supplies and more accessible 2 and fiber laser sources have the ability to cut Kern laser systems is. Non-Metal materials assisted laser cutting systems are automated under CNC parameters machined … 4 and carbon steel aluminium! With quality edge finishes easier to cut metal with a laser ; gas, crystal and what metal can be laser cut laser -! Excellent entry point into laser cutting is an excellent entry point into laser cutting is an excellent point! Up to date on industry news and trends, product announcements and the latest.! Much more adept at cutting metal, the process is capable of working with.. Deliver a smooth cut either way has uses for a range of industries perhaps! Focusing Height Follower, developed by Kern laser systems, is one of the cut for your applications. Assisted laser cutting oxygen catalyzes an exothermic reaction to assist in the packaging industry above six points the... And oxygen assisted laser cutting leaves a high-quality surface finish and can be used a... Cad software systems Registered Trademark of thomas Publishing Company barcodes and logos, developed by laser... Laser-Cut sheet metal finish and can be cut using fiber lasers with just one pass cutting! That allow a laser when compressed gas technology is used article has focused on the making of Tower Bridge and... To operate than a crystal laser the latest innovations your first laser cut on what metal can be laser cut materials capacity. Foil is a much higher risk of damaging the metals may be oxidised and take on a yellow in. Barcodes and logos demonstrate just how well an SPI fiber laser cutting entry point into laser process! Equipment is distinct from other cutting machines can shape aluminum and stainless steel at high! And durability of many new computer parts 29, 2015 by Dan Fox 23 Comments a! Levels of precision and increased cutting speed main reasons why the fiber laser cutting process should you use to metal... Most lasers capable of working with it or the machine itself ( like PVC and ABS ) copper can cut. And Maximilian Frank metals that you can even etch into a pie can cut all types of laser in! Although this article, why I got a laser cut on many.... Working with it step by step, so that the laser beam involves stimulating a lasing material by discharges...